x

Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

Cristiano Ronaldo continues fine form to lead Real Madrid to narrow win over Eibar

Portuguese forward took his tally to 13 goals in his past seven games as the champions closed the gap on second-placed Atletico to four points

Cristiano Ronaldo after scoring his and Real Madrid's second goal against Eibar on Saturday. Juan Manuel Serrano Arce / Getty Images
Cristiano Ronaldo after scoring his and Real Madrid's second goal against Eibar on Saturday. Juan Manuel Serrano Arce / Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo came to the rescue again as Real Madrid followed up their win over Paris Saint-Germain with a narrow victory against Eibar.

Ronaldo scored twice, his second six minutes from the end, as Madrid won 2-1 and avoided another slip-up in the Primera Liga. Ivan Ramis had equalised for Eibar shortly after half-time.

His double means Ronaldo has now scored in seven consecutive games and has a remarkable 13 goals overall in that period.

Madrid move four points behind second-placed Atletico Madrid, who will restore that gap to seven with a win over Celta Vigo on Sunday. Eibar stay eighth.

_____________

Read more:

Lionel Messi to miss Barcelona's match against Malaga for 'personal reasons'

Barcelona and Real Madrid linked with moves for Neymar

Andy Mitten: Cristiano Ronaldo's will to win fueling Real Madrid's resurgence

_____________

After securing a 5-2 aggregate victory over PSG on Tuesday, Madrid swapped the Parc des Princes for the Ipurua Municipal Stadium, the smallest in the Primera Liga with a capacity of just over 7,000.

They were below their best and rode their luck late on when Eibar should have converted a pair of excellent chances.

But Ronaldo proved the difference again, the 33-year-old forward taking his tally for the season to 35 goals in 37 appearances.

Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane had insisted the success in Paris was now "forgotten" and his starting line-up suggested as much, with Karim Benzema the only key player rested.

Gareth Bale started up front alongside Ronaldo, while Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, fit enough only to come off the bench in midweek, returned. Isco and Casemiro formed the top and tail of a midfield diamond.

Madrid were ragged early on as Takashi Inui, Kike Garcia and Joan Jordan all went close to giving Eibar the lead.

Raphael Varane had to be replaced by Nacho after taking a bang to the head and, against the run of play, Madrid edged ahead in the 33rd minute.

A sloppy pass out from the back by Anaitz Arbilla conceded possession to Luka Modric who quickly picked out Ronaldo with a sublime bending pass. Ronaldo chested the ball down and slammed it in at the near post.

In front, Madrid improved but five minutes into the second half and Eibar were level. Sergio Ramos lost his man at a corner and Ramis nodded in from six yards.

Ronaldo should have restored the advantage but failed to convert an excellent Bale cross and from the resulting corner, Bale flashed a glancing header just wide of the post.

Isco and Kroos made way for Benzema and Lucas Vazquez with 19 minutes left but Eibar had two golden chances to score a second.

First, the unmarked Inui headed over from seven yards out and then Kike hit the side-netting with only Keylor Navas to beat. They would soon prove costly misses.

In the 84th minute, Pedro Leon gave away possession too easily, allowing Modric to feed Daniel Carvajal out wide. His whipped cross found the leaping Ronaldo and the Portugese made no mistake.